c. 1200, cwitance, quitaunce, "payment, compensation;" c. 1300, "a discharge from a debt or an obligation," from Old French quitance (Modern French quittance), from quiter "clear, establish one's innocence;" also transitive, "release, let go, relinquish, abandon" (12c.), from quite "free, clear, entire, at liberty; discharged; unmarried," from Medieval Latin quitus, quittus, from Latin quietus "free" (in Medieval Latin "free from war, debts, etc."), also "calm, resting" (from PIE root *kweie- "to rest, be quiet"). The Middle English word also is in part from Medieval Latin quittantia, a variant of quietantia.
updated on March 16, 2021